‘No room for old dreams’, German president says of Russia ties

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BERLIN, OCT 28: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused an “epochal break” in German ties with Moscow and the war has shattered former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev‘s dream of a “common European home”, Germany’s president said on Friday.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who hails from a wing of Germany’s Social Democrats that long argued for closer economic ties to Moscow to anchor it within a Western-oriented global system, said Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion had brought a change in era.

“When we look at the Russia of today, there is no room for old dreams,” Steinmeier said in the prepared text of a national address. “Our countries are standing against each other today.”

“It has also plunged us in Germany into another time, into an insecurity we thought we had overcome: a time marked by war, violence and flight, by concerns about the expansion of war into a wildfire in Europe,” he added.

Steinmeier made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Tuesday, when he vowed further support to Ukraine, especially in the area of air defence. The visit was his first since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Steinmeier had originally planned to visit Ukraine in April but Kyiv refused to welcome him then amid disquiet over his past support for a Western rapprochement with Russia. Kyiv and Berlin later patched up their disagreement.